Who says the symphony doesn’t rock? On Thursday, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra announced its 2022-23 “BPO Rock” series, presented by Calspan. The full lineup includes rollicking tributes to rock ‘n’ roll legends The Moody Blues, Deep Purple and The Beatles, and a special performance with the current members of prog-rock band Jefferson Starship, all amplified by the world-class sound of the BPO in the killer acoustics of Kleinhans Music Hall.
“I’m a firm believer that this music, that has been popular for over 50 years, deserves its place in the concert hall with a full symphony orchestra,” said Bradley Thachuk, music director of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, who will conduct the tributes to Deep Purple and The Beatles. “I’m always excited by the ways that an orchestra can inject new energy into the songs of beloved artists, and add a fresh sound to music that has been with us most of our lives.”
The “BPO Rock” series kicks off with the band GO NOW! performing “The Music of The Moody Blues” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21. GO NOW! is the brainchild of drummer Gordy Marshall, who toured with The Moody Blues for 25 years as a session musician. Along with Mick Wilson, known as lead singer of 10cc, the two musicians have brought together some of the best singers and instrumentalists in the country to create a tribute to one of the greatest classic rock bands of a generation. Experience all of The Moody Blues’ greatest hits, including “Nights in White Satin,” “Tuesday Afternoon,” “Go Now” and “Isn’t Life Strange.” Michael Krajewski conducts.
Next is Deep Purple Rising, a symphonic tribute to the music of Deep Purple, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, 2023. From “Hush” and “Smoke on the Water,” to Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again,” Deep Purple and the bands formed from its members have delivered music fans some of the most beloved anthems of all-time. Legendary rock vocalist and Western New York native Joe Retta (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, The Sweet, Dio Disciples, Heaven & Earth) fronts a full rock band presenting favorites from Deep Purple, Whitesnake and Rainbow as rock fans have never heard them before.
Following the band’s postponed performance in 2019, next on the “BPO Rock” series is Jefferson Starship at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 10, 2023. Jefferson Starship is one of the most successful arena rock groups of the 1970s and ’80s, earning three Platinum and eight Gold records, as well as numerous Top 40 singles. The band has its roots as Jefferson Airplane, which defined the San Francisco sound and headlined the music festivals at Woodstock, Monterey and Altamont, evolving through the 1970s prog-rock and AOR eras to become Jefferson Starship. Today, Jefferson Starship has reformed under original member David Freiberg, with a top-notch group of veteran musicians, including Donny Baldwin, Jude Gold, Cathy Richardson and Chris Smith. Conducted by Tim Berens, this “BPO Rock” performance will include all the hits of Airplane and Starship, including “Somebody to Love,” “White Rabbit,” “Miracles,” “Jane” and “Find Your Way Back.”
Finally, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 28, 2023, the BPO presents “Revolution,” a magical musical and visual journey of The Beatles. This symphonic tribute to the Fab Four features top vocalists and musicians accompanied by new arrangements from Jeff Tyzik, principal pops conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, transcribed and arranged from the original master recordings at Abbey Road. The multimedia presentation will display hundreds of rare and unseen photos from the historic, London-based archives of The Beatles’ official fan magazine, The Beatles Book Monthly, along with stunning video and animation. The production features arrangements of over 25 top hits, including “Ticket to Ride,” “Penny Lane,” “All You Need Is Love,” “Get Back,” “Here Comes the Sun” and “Hey Jude.”
Popular Music Add-Ons from ‘BPO Pops’ Series
Pop and rock fans can “compose-your-own” four or five-concert package, or choose the “Ultimate Rock” six-concert package with the following “BPO Pops” series performances:
Mamma mia! Here we go again with “The Music of ABBA” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19. Relive the 1970s in all its gold lamé glory with one of the world’s most popular and best-selling ABBA tribute shows, Arrival from Sweden. Experience ABBA’s greatest hits, from “Dancing Queen,” “Take A Chance on Me” and “SOS,” to “Money Money Money” and “Waterloo,” with the famous frocks and powerhouse vocals of Sweden’s No. 1 musical export.
No need for a Walkman or a mixtape to relive your favorite ’80s jams, as “Pops Goes Totally 80s” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 11, 2023. Stu Chafetz, principal pops conductor of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, leads the BPO in an evening of totally tubular ’80s hits from Phil Collins, Rush, Michael Jackson, George Michael and Billy Joel, as well as selections from blockbuster ’80s flicks “Back to the Future” and “Ghostbusters.”
Subscribers save significantly off single ticket prices, receive priority access to special events before they are made available to the general public, and can take advantage of a flexible ticket exchange program. To subscribe, call 716-885-5000, visit bpo.org, or stop by the Kleinhans box office. Single tickets to all BPO events will go on sale later this summer.
For more information, visit bpo.org.